Jesus or the Bible is the Word of God?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-5 (ESV)

When compared to the 3 synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke); the Gospel of John is unique in that it has far more Christology. The first 5 verses of John are evidence of this claim. John refers to Jesus as the Word. If we go back to the original Greek, we see the word logos; meaning a word or saying (citation here).

Not only does John refer to Jesus as the Word, he is clear in affirming Jesus’ divinity; and the Word was God. Why does John refer to Jesus as the Word? I believe John Piper explains it quite well.

But still we should ask, Why did he choose to call Jesus “the Word”? “In the beginning was the Word.” My answer to that question is this: John calls Jesus the Word because he had come to see the words of Jesus as the truth of God and the person of Jesus as the truth of God in such a unified way that Jesus himself—in his coming, and working, and teaching, and dying and rising—was the final and decisive Message of God. Or to put it more simply: What God had to say to us was not only or mainly what Jesus said, but who Jesus was and what he did. His words clarified himself and his work. But his self and his work were the main truth God was revealing. “I am the truth,” Jesus said (John 14:6).

He came to witness to the truth (John 18:37) and he was the truth (John 14:6). His witness and his person were the Word of truth. He said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31), and he said, “Abide in me” (John 15:7). When we abide in him we are abiding in the Word. He said that his works were a “witness” about him (John 5:3610:25). In other words, in his working he was the Word.

(Full article linked HERE)

While we recognize Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6); Jesus being called the Word does not negate the inerrancy of Scripture. Yes, the Bible is also the Word of God.

The denial of the inerrancy of Scripture is perplexing, paradoxical and dangerous. When we, as Christians, deny the inerrancy of Scripture, essentially we have no baseline. Using “the Bible says…” as a defense for our ideology, theology, and worldview is a fallacious argument. If Scripture is flawed, we cannot depend on it and certainly should not allow it to dictate our world view.

Affirming the inerrancy of Scripture does not, in any way, place the authors of the Bible above Christ. No one is claiming that the Apostle Paul or John or any other author of the Bible is divine in nature. Of course, they were sinful human beings. We know that and they knew it, too. However, we do recognize that their writings were theopnestos: breathed by God. Scripture affirms itself. 

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. – Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)

Affirming the inerrancy of Scripture also does not mean we believe studying the Bible will get us into Heaven. This would be an example of salvation by works, which of course is heresy. Salvation is by faith, through grace alone (Ephesians 2:8). No one considers their Bible to be the 4th head of the Trinity, however, we affirm that Scripture is sufficient in teaching what it necessary about salvation and the character of God.

The words of Jesus is no way contradict the Scriptures. As a matter of fact, Jesus quoted and referenced Scripture many times. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is a perfect example of this. The position of Red Letter Christianity  seems to deny what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount; that he did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17)

Still, people will point to the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus seems to be contradicting Scripture. This is not true. Jesus is assuring those to whom He is preaching that God sees our hearts. The Pharisees were rule-followers who were unwilling or unable to look beyond external commands. God requires our whole heart, not a person who pretends to be holy, as the Pharisees did. Jesus preaching on this does not contradict Scripture. To put it bluntly, murder is still a sin, but so is having hatred in your heart.

People will argue that Jesus is divine, the authors of the Bible were not. Which again, I would affirm that. However, this is where the denial of the inerrancy of Scripture becomes a paradoxical argument. Looking towards Scriptures (written by men) about Christ to discredit other Scriptures is, as I said, fallacious and paradoxical. Why can we trust what John wrote about Jesus but we cannot trust Pauline epistles (see 1 Peter 3:16)? How do we decide what is true and what is not?

While we do recognize cultural backdrops, literary devices, and principles of hermeneutics; we also believe in the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit. Claiming that Scripture is inspired but not inerrant is a blatant attack on the Holy Spirit. In a roundabout way, it is a denial of the Holy Spirits ability to effectively communicate with the authors of the Bible.

The official position of Christians in Motion is that we affirm that Scripture is without error. We affirm that Scripture, all Scripture, is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.

We also affirm that the canon is closed.  “Any “revelation” given to any Christian that contradicts what is written in Scripture we can safely dismiss.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, – Hebrews 1:1-3 (NASB)

Suggested Reading-  Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy with Exposition

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